Energy flows through everything. It is neither created nor destroyed but rather changed from one form to another. It looks for a way to escape and move; it yearns to be free.

Fire is one of the most fascinating expressions of energy, and also one of the more dangerous. This potentially catastrophic beauty is probably what makes it so captivating to so many. I have spent many a night staring into the dancing flames of my campfire. It provokes thought in the silence of the evening. Fire promotes camaraderie to groups gathered around it. Something about a fire says to all who are near “come and gather”, and that bidding is hard to ignore.

Ironically, fire can represent safety and comfort, but a flickering flame later can bring destruction and death. What I appreciate the most about this, however, is that after a destroying fire there is always rebirth. For example, in many areas, the lodgepole pine depends on forest fires in order for new trees to grow. The pinecones of these trees are sealed shut, and in order for them to open and release the seeds inside, they need intense heat. And what better than fire to pop those cones open and heat up the next generation of trees!

I love the thought that something so incredible like fire comes from a very simple beginning. All you really need is fuel, heat, and oxygen. To me the thought of fiery leaves springing from a log is awe-inspiring. There is potential energy stored up which can lead to great good or great destruction. So it is, I think, for each of us. We have a sort of potential energy stored inside ourselves and we need to decide how we are going to release it. We can release it for good, release it for bad, or not do anything at all and let it sit there like a log on the bottom of the wood stack. Choose wisely.